Tamsyn Top

Hi everyone,
On the advice and recommendations of the lovely people over on Instagram, I’ve decided to update with a blog post. I haven’t been writing more recently, for a few reasons; I wasn’t actually sure that people were reading them, I have actually remade quite a few garments recently and it seems silly to blog them again and I have also done quite a bit of Christmas sewing.

However, I have recently made the Tamsyn Top that was free with Simply Sewing Managzine in Issue 46, back in August. It would appear that, like me, many sewcialists look up Instagram and blog posts before they attempt patterns themselves and it seems that it is only fair that I give back.

Simply Sewing Tamsyn Top sewing pattern

On that note, the Tamsyn top is a simple, tunic style blouse with long sleeves and cuffs. There are no alternative options. I think the version on the packet is really nice and would love to replicate one like it. However, I had this lovely fabric called Ladies Faces from Sewalicious and wanted to use the simple lines of this pattern to show it off.

There are no darts and I was unsure about how to complete a Full Bust Allowance because of this but I lined it up with a pattern piece I knew fit me and it seemed OK. The body of the top comes together really easily… then it gets tricky, well not tricky, just more tricky than the simple tunic top would suggest, I feel. First of all, it requires set in sleeves. Eurgh, my nemesis… though, I think I’m getting better at that. Then you have to gather the bottoms of the sleeves to fit within a cuff, which creates a lovely, lose shape but is rather fiddly.

You complete an all-in-one collar for this blouse, which needed lots of clipping at the curves to sit nicely. It also makes the pattern quite fabric hungry as you have to cut it on quite a large curve and the sleeves are pretty meaty too! It was a complete fluke but I’m pleased that there are no faces in the pieces that I cut for this, as it wouldn’t look right.

The pattern gives the option for tassels, having never made tassels before, I tootled off to research this and easily followed this photo on Pinterest, incidentally, if you love a bit of Pinterest, follow me here. The tassles are simple tacked in before you make the collar.DIY Crafts :  How to make a yarn tassel

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I’m really pleased with it, I think it’s a really relaxed fit, if not, a bit out there but it’s perfect with black jeans for a day exploring. I would make this blouse again, but only when I’m in the mood to try that collar.

Mia Set

I’ve been making attempts to get through my to-do box before getting distracted by some of the lovely fabrics you may have seen in my last post.

The Mia set which came with Simply Sewing Magazine last July, tempted me straight away and I used this unusual fabric I got for a bargain on eBay. I thought it would look really cool as it’s quite a wacky fabric but the pattern is quite simple apart from the sleeves. I have shown this over on Youtube already but I wanted to give a few more details.

I cut it out straight away. Due to fabric restrictions, I only cut one of the two optional sleeve pieces which make the fluted look at the ends. Then… I got distracted and it sat in my to do box until I have been off over Christmas! I felt it was about time I showed it some love!

So, out it came! It’s a really quick sew so it was a travesty that it remained untouched for so long but at least it meant that I could use my overlocker so the whole thing looks so much more professional. I was able to overlock the curved edge of the sleeve and fold it over to hem it, it’s such an easy way to hem curves. It has a simple shape like a shift dress, with darts from the arm hole to the bust and that’s it. I would definitely give the dress version a go at some point.

The sleeve options are either, one big circular sleeve or two flutes which are smaller. I only used one of the smaller pieces as I thought two might be a little much in this fabric.

The set comes with no fastenings but with the option for a small opening the back, I chose to ignore this and cut the back piece on the fold. Similarly, I ignored the facings (as I usually do) and used bias binding. I cut the fabric to use the border along the bottom so all that was left was to use the lines in the border print to do a quick hem and I’ve got a simple top with fluted sleeves, which I love! Other than the border print, I have kept the pattern placement random as I think with a fabric like this you just need to just go with the flow.

I wore this over Christmas and on a day out to Carlisle with my husband. He, as always, completed his marital duties on being my photographer in chief. I am a little travel creased though, I’m afraid!

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The Florence Dress

The Florence Dress from Sew Over It came with issues 30 and 31 of Simply Sewing Magazine as a Sewalong. I was unsure at first as the waist-line looked high and I thought that it might swamp my figure and not nip in at the right places. In short, I wasn’t going to bother. Then on a whim I thought of the lovely, bargain Mermaid print that I had 5 metres of and cut the top out. The fabric was so cheap that I wasn’t too worried if it didn’t work out and it was so easy that I couldn’t see a reason not to. The pattern came with inserts in the magazine but with a promise that it would be released later this year. 

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I was also spurred on from seeing Jenny of Crafty Sew and Sew in Dorset putting hers together. It looked great and it inspired me to give it a go. She decided against the sleeves and made bias binding instead and I think it looks great.

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As with all the Sew Over It patterns, the construction is simple and clever and the instructions were lovely and clear. I put the top half together easily and then only had to wait a few days for the next magazine to come through my door! On another whim, I kept red thread in my machine from another project so I could practice some top-stitching.

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In the end I was won round by the bodice, I often think that shirt dresses look a little too stiff for casual wear but this look quite soft and relaxed. So I progressed to the skirt, which, again was nice and simple. I tried to line the pattern of the waves in the fabric up along the seams and felt this was pretty successful but the fabric is quite light and slippery so it doesn’t always meet!

The bodice and skirt are attached and create the channel for the elastic, you don’t have an extra stitching round the waistline. It’s clever details like this, which always work out which makes me like Sew Over It patterns.

I tried it on at this point and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked the fit and that the elasticated waist was in the right place. I was going to try leaving it sleeveless like Jenny but I couldn’t bring myself to do it – I’m really not a fan of my arms! So I shortened the sleeves and added a short sleeve instead. I didn’t have much fabric left at this point so I wasn’t too precious about the pattern matching but I think it looks fine.

I added more top stitching to the collar and placket at this point so that it looks more like a feature, rather than a possible mistake! I love navy and white with red. I tried it on again to ensure I got the button hole placement right, I din’t want gapeage, which is what happened a little with my last Shirt Dress make. I then asked for opinions on Instagram to help decide on buttons and I’m so glad I did – it got a huge response and the Vintage Glass Buttons that I was desperate to use anyway won over! They were small so I used four instead of three as the pattern dictates but I make my own clothes so who cares?! (Don’t you love that about it?) I hemmed it and it was complete.

I was completely taken aback with this pattern, I really thought it wasn’t going to be for me, but I absolutely love it! I can completely see myself on the marina on my holidays next year in this and can’t wait to make another, I think I might even embrace sleeveless and maybe a small leg split too! It just goes to show that it is well worth thinking outside the box with sewing. What do you think? Have you ever made a garment which made you do a U-turn like this?

 I wore this to my mum’s in a day of rare sunshine. My sister has asked if I’ll make her one and I intend to make another so I’ll be busy. My Mum’s dog, Murphy is gorgeous but not much of a poser!! 

The Betty Blouse

I’ve had this blouse cut out for a while now… the design of it requires pintucks and I have been meaning to buy a pintuck foot for some time. However, I haven’t got round to it and I was after a quick sew for a Sunday afternoon so I grabbed my pieces and used the 3 inches marked for pintucks either side of the fold to create 3 pleats instead. I saw a blouse very similar in style to this the other day so I’m on a winner I think.

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The Betty Blouse came with  Issue 18 of Simply Sewing Mag and only has two pieces so this was an easy one. I used a metre of this lilac polyester I had in my stash, there was more than enough to cut my pattern and the binding. This isn’t usually my colour but I got it in a bundle and was keen to use it, I’m quite pleased with the colour now it’s finished, it’s reminds me of parma violets!

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I also like the style of the sleeves, which are quite feminine. The only other change I made was turn to the binding to the outside rather than the inside, just for another feature but I’m not sure, does it look a bit bulky?

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I cut a size 14 in this pattern and though I am clearly not a 14, it fits so I’d recommend smaller sizes with this one. I’d also lengthen the pattern slightly if I did it again, which I will have to because I’m not happy to put the pintuck challenge to rest! I’ll maybe try a nice light chiffon next time.

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I’m surprised at how much I like the colour when it is on and I’m proud of myself for resiting the temptation to add any details!

Also I just want to give a quick shout out to my lovely sister-in-law who cut and blew my hair, all fresh and ready for my holidays!

This is going on the Northumberland suitcase for with jeans. 😊 It’s the perfect place for photos so expect to see a few more exciting makes over the half term week!

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